What Can Happen if You do not have a Will?

25 Feb 2021 Notary Public

If you want to ensure that you have a say in how your estate is divided up amongst those for whom you care after you die, it is incredibly important to have a legally binding will written and notarized. There are many factors to consider when writing a will, so it is important to consult with a notary public in order to be sure that all of the important details are taken care of. At Sidhu & Associates Notary, we have a wealth of experience with writing and notarizing wills and other personal planning documentation of all kinds, and we are always happy to help our clients understand what can happen when a person passes on without a will.

What Happens if You Die Without a Will?

When a person passes on without a will, they are considered to have died intestate. An intestate person’s assets are held and distributed by the government according to the Wills, Estates, and Succession Act. This legislation determines who in the intestate person’s family receives which assets based on monetary value. An intestate person’s spouse receives the majority of their assets, with their children receiving the remaining portions in equal measure. When no spouse or children are present, the estate goes to the deceased’s parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews, in that order.

Although the Wills, Estates, and Succession Act ensures that an estate is allocated fairly in most cases, dying without a will can mean considerable hardship for the family of the intestate individual. There are many delays and extra expenses that are applied to an estate when no will is present, and it can often take years to get proper possession of assets.

Does the Government get Your Property if You Die Without a Will?

Contrary to common belief, an intestate person’s assets do not go to the government as long as the regular chain of relatives exists. An estate only goes to the government if a person dies with no family or will.

If you would like to learn more about what can happen if you do not have a will when you die, or to find out about our suite of estate planning and personal notarization services, please contact our team of notaries so we can get you the information you need.